WA State Senators Declare Supreme Court Order “Unconstitutional”

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

wa-constitutionA sign of the current education situation in Washington State took a turn for the obvious when, showing a fundamental lack of knowledge of basic civics, a coalition of Washington State Senators declared an order of the State Supreme Court to be Unconstitutional. That’s right, the several senators seem to have missed a key portion of their junior-high education relating to which branch of government has the ultimate say in constitutional matters and perhaps the workings of our tripartite government.

The claim of unconstitutionality stems from an open letter penned by several state senators describing the “constitutional crisis” caused by a rogue state supreme court. Previously the court held the state in contempt for failing to provide for the constitutionally mandated primary duty of funding basic education. It ultimately prescribed a penalty of $100,000.00 for each day the legislature failed to furnish the court with a suitable plan to address shortcomings enumerated in McCleary v. State.

We featured several articles describing how Washington State was found to be out of compliance in meeting its constitutionally mandated duty of providing basic education as the paramount duty of the state by essentially forcing individual school district to assess levies to fund basic education, failing to meet class size requirements, and other matters. The State Supreme Court fined the state $100,000.00 per day for non-compliance, prompting angry responses from various members of the legislature with accusations that the Court has “gone rogue”. And, in some cases legislators threatened to impeach the justices and lower the number of seated justices.

If that was not enough, the senators also declare that the Supreme Court does not have the authority to assess a penalty for lack of compliance with a court order. It seems clear that Washington’s education is surely lacking, at least since these senators attended seventh grade.

The text of the document surely speaks for itself.

August 21, 2015

RE: Open letter from members of the Majority Coalition Caucus

Dear Speaker Chopp, Representative Kristiansen and Senator Nelson,

We trust that you have had an opportunity to review the recent order from the Washington State Supreme Court (“the court”) in the McCleary v. State case. The order attempts to enforce a fine against the state of Washington and its citizens in the amount of $100,000 a day as a contempt sanction. The court also purports to create a new account for basic education to receive the funds from the sanction. The order notes that the sanction could be vacated if the governor calls a special session and the legislature meets to provide a “plan” for funding education. This extraordinary order presents a clear threat to our state legislature as an institution. It demands a frank and open discussion among members and the constituents we represent regarding a proportional response.

We have made great progress in meeting our constitutional obligation to amply fund education through bipartisan agreement and the legislative process. As noted in a brief filed by the attorney general on the state’s behalf,

Since 2012 the State has increased biennial operating funding for K-12 education by nearly $5 billion—from $13.4 billion to $18.2 billion . . . This amounts to an increase of nearly $2,500 per pupil per year. The 2015 Legislature not only increased K-12 funding by approximately $2.9 billion over the prior biennium, but also appropriated $811 million for capital construction supporting K-12 education.

Legislative members will continue to debate differing ideas on the best way to improve education via reforms, prioritizing existing resources, and finding sources of new funding. These differences will be resolved through the legislative process which is the most effective means of harmonizing various geographic, economic, and philosophic divisions within a political body. However, our concerns with the order have nothing to do with the surface issue of education funding. It is because the court’s order circumvents this process, that it represents a direct challenge to the legislative role within our state constitutional system.

To date, the legislature has worked to address the court’s demands by showing deference. When the court issued its initial opinion in McCleary in 2012, members in both chambers and parties privately and publicly expressed concerns, but subsequently formed a joint task force and authorized reports on its progress in meeting the court’s demands. In the most recent budget, in compliance with the four year balanced budget statute, the legislature is scheduled to fully fund all the elements of HB 2776 (2010) by the statutorily imposed 2018 deadline. Our purpose in taking these actions was to avoid a direct confrontation with the court and a constitutional crisis. However, in light of the court’s most recent order, it appears that this forbearance was misinterpreted as weakness or acquiescence to the court’s actions.

The court’s order directly contravenes state and federal constitutional provisions, politicizes the judiciary, and demonstrates disdain for other co-equal branches of government. Indeed, it is significant that the governor and legislature have never been served as parties to the case. While the positions outlined below are not exhaustive, they demonstrate the uncharted legal waters into which the court has so fecklessly wandered. It is worth noting that no prior court in our state’s 126 year history has seen fit to issue such an order.

The Court’s Order Violates the State Constitution

The court’s order arguably violates at least five separate provisions of the state constitution. Article II, Section 1 of the state constitution vests legislative power in the legislature. This power includes the power of taxation which is prohibited from being “suspended, surrendered, or contracted away” under Article VII, section 1. Article VIII, section 4 provides that “[n]o moneys shall ever be paid out of the treasury of this state, or any of its funds, or any of the funds under its management, except in pursuance of an appropriation by law . . . ”

In order to ensure that legislators are able to execute their constitutional duties unfettered by civil or criminal sanction, two constitutional provisions explicitly exempt them from civil or criminal process for statements in debate or while the legislature is in session. Article II, sections 17 and 16. These constitutional provisions outlining the legislative authority of taxation, appropriation, and immunity from judicial process are at the core of the functioning of this branch of government.

The court’s sanctions are directly aimed at legislative actions. However, the court has absolutely no authority to force the legislature to tax or appropriate state funds in a particular manner- anymore than the legislature could pass a law requiring the court to rule a certain way in a particular case. Its ability to gain jurisdiction over legislators through civil and criminal process is limited for this precise purpose- to prohibit the court or those who would use its procedures from commandeering legislative power.

The court’s direction for $100,000 a day to be deposited in an account for basic education clearly constitutes an appropriation. This runs afoul of the state constitution which provides that appropriation must be by law. In sanctioning the state, the court has effectively hijacked the appropriation authority of the state legislature. In the face of these clear constitutional provisions, the court is without power to hold the state in contempt for what amounts to a policy disagreement over the Legislature’s exercise of legislative power.

The Court’s Order Violates the Federal Constitution

The court’s order also violates at least two provisions of the federal constitution. Article IV, Sec 4 of the United States Constitution provides that “the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…” That free exercise of legislative power is central to a republican form of government was reinforced by the United States Supreme Court in Duncan v. McCall. The essence of the republican form of government is the sovereign authority of the people over their government. Duncan v. McCall, 139 U.S. 449 (1891). In Duncan, the Court further noted “…the people are the source of all political power, but that, as the exercise of governmental powers immediately by the people themselves is impracticable, they must be exercised by representatives of the people. Duncan at 461. (citing Luther v. Borden, 48 U.S. 1, 7 How. 1, 12 L. Ed. 581 (1849). Duncan continued,

By the constitution, a republican form of government is guaranteed to every state in the Union, and the distinguishing feature of that form is the right of the people to choose their own officers for governmental administration, and pass their own laws in virtue of the legislative power reposed in representative bodies, whose legitimate acts may be said to be those of the people themselves; but, while the people are thus the source of political power, their governments, national and state, have been limited by written constitutions, and they have themselves thereby set bounds to their own power, as against the sudden impulses of mere majorities. 11 S.Ct. 573, 139 U.S. 449, Duncan v. McCall, (U.S.Tex. 1891)(emphasis added)

Since Washington recognizes the federal Constitution as supreme, and Article IV, section 4 of that document requires the national government to ensure a “republican form of government for each state,” the state must ensure the proper separation of powers articulated in its constitution and required by the federal document. As described in the section above, the court’s order violates several clear provisions of the state constitution and undermines the legislative power reposed by the people in the state legislature. Without a republican form of government, inalienable rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution cannot be protected from autocratic rule.

The court’s order also runs afoul of Article IV, section 1 of the United States Constitution. That clause provides that “[t]he Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several states.” The court is currently sanctioning the legislature for failing to debate and enact laws and appropriate funds in amounts it deems necessary. Such sanctions implicate the federal privileges and immunities clause because the legislative immunity of legislators from compulsion to debate and discuss, and pass laws within the legislative sphere is inherent in the legislative power and necessarily implied by Washington State constitution’s separation of powers doctrine.

The source of the privileges and immunities are longstanding precepts of the common law which are indivisibly embodied in the separation of powers. For example, in Tenney v. Brandhove, 341 U.S. 367, 372 (1951), Justice Frankfurter described the immunity as “the privilege of legislators to be free from arrest or civil process for what they do or say in legislative proceedings….” See Tenney, 341 U.S. 367, 372. Frankfurter stated:

Freedom of speech and action in the legislature was taken as a matter of course by those who severed the Colonies from the Crown and founded our Nation. It was deemed so essential for representatives of the people that it was written into the Articles of Confederation and later into the Constitution.

. . .

The reason for the privilege is clear. . . . ‘In order to enable and encourage a representative of the public to discharge his public trust with firmness and success, it is indispensably necessary, that he should enjoy the fullest liberty of speech, and that he should be protected from the resentment of every one, however powerful, to whom the exercise of that liberty may occasion offense.’ The [Speech and Debate clause] was a reflection of political principles already firmly established in the States. Tenney, 341 U.S. at 372-74 (quoting II Works of James Wilson (Andrews ed. 1896), p. 38) (citations omitted)

These political principles are inherent in the legislative power vested by Article II of the Washington State Constitution. Our doctrine of separation of powers means that neither the governor nor a judge may interfere with legislative business. Legislators may not be made answerable in any other forum but are answerable only to the voters at the polls. If judges may summon or sanction legislators any time that any party disagrees with legislation, or if legislators may be held liable for injuries that arise from the passage of laws (bad or good) then the judges of Washington State can effectively suspend the legislature by a flurry of subpoenas, injunctions, and sanctions. While a court has the inherent authority under its mandamus power to compel a subordinate public official to fulfill a clear legal duty or rule on legislation after it has undergone the legislative process, there is no reason to sanction state legislators about legislative actions except to harass, intimidate and assert the supremacy of the judiciary over the representative branch.

The Court’s Order Involves the Court in a Political Question

Under the “political question” doctrine the United States Supreme Court has refused to decide cases in two kinds of circumstances: first, if a power has been consigned exclusively to another branch of government; or secondly, if there are no manageable standards by which a court could decide the case. This basic and fundamental tenant of judicial review should be employed by the court in this case. The purpose of the doctrine is to avoid involving the court in purely political matters.

There can be no more political product of legislative work than a state budget. The weighing and balancing of priorities reflected in the state budget is a difficult exercise. To date the court has only heard from one stakeholder group (advocates for education) in reaching its opinion. Is the court going to entertain amicus briefs from all the other stakeholders seeking funding for their interest groups whose funding is now potentially jeopardized by the court’s sanction? Is the court going to order the legislature to raise taxes or make other cuts in its budget to reach the funding level it has dictated? The easy part of budgeting is to decide to spend more money on a politically popular budget item. The hard part is figuring out how to do it. Via its sanction, the court finds itself in a purely political sphere without the procedures expertise or resources necessary to accomplish this complex task.

The Court’s Order Demands a Legislative Response

In sum, the court attempts to coerce compliance with its interpretation of one provision of the state constitution while shredding others. In a similar dispute with United States Supreme Court in 1861, Abraham Lincoln questioned “[a]re all the laws, but one, to go unexecuted, and the government itself go to pieces, lest that one be violated?” We must also guard against a similar myopic approach from our court.

The constitutional crises[sic] that we and the court were warned about is here. We have all taken oaths to uphold the state constitution. We owe to our constituents and their children not only amply-funded schools but a functioning republic in this state. It is now time for us to explore the range of political, legal, and constitutional responses that we have at our disposal. Please let us know at your earliest convenience how you and your respective caucuses intend to proceed.


Undersigned members of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus

Senator Mike Padden
Senator Mark Schoesler
Senator Michael Baumgartner
Senator Curtis King
Senator Doug Ericksen
Senator Jan Angel
Senator Sharon Brown
Senator Ann Rivers
Senator Judy Warnick
Senator John Braun
Senator Jim Honeyford
Senator Barbara Bailey
Senator Mike Hewitt
Senator Don Benton
Senator Randi Becker
Senator Linda Evans Parlette
Senator Kirk Pearson
Senator Pam Roach
Senator Tim Sheldon


By Darren Smith


Washington State Senate (.PDF Document)

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

40 thoughts on “WA State Senators Declare Supreme Court Order “Unconstitutional””

  1. Why do you think that communists put “free” government schools in place? The same reason that they are in place here: to indoctrinate children with love of the state, to do what the state demands, without question , along with teaching the states skewed version of history.

    Government schools are one of the most dangerous things that has ever happened to liberty in this this country and I hope to see them go.

  2. InalienableWrights,

    You are on the right track. Under the very binding Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights (original) Americans have no right to redistribution of wealth as welfare, food stamps, affirmative action, quotas, social services, Obamacare, “Fair Housing,” forced busing, HAMP, HARP, Medicare, utility subsidies, etc., etc.

    Public school is General Welfare like roads, water, post office, electricity utilities, etc. – generic things that ALL people use in the same way in the same amounts.

    The military is NOT represented by unions and is NOT perverted and skewed by unions.

    Public school shall be run like the military without unions. Teachers unions have committed the crimes of usurpation and abuse of the power of government against the people. Public school officials should be impeached and convicted by Congress for “high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Government employee unions are illegal and unconstitutional usurpation and abuse of the power of government against the people. Government departments and workers are no different than military service to America – it involves NO unions.



    Public officials, justices, etc., shall no longer be allowed to engage in crime and corruption with impunity.

    Americans have the right to Freedom and Self-Reliance.

    Americans are not slaves and do not take orders from dictators.

    Charity is noble, honorable and flourishing in the private sector. America is NOT a SYMPATHOCRACY, theocracy or collectivist communist state.


    1. The general welfare clause does not give the government the right to violate my rights. No document can legitimize the trampling of my rights.

      Under your definition of the general welfare clause, a socialist nanny state would be acceptable as long as everyone gets all the free stuff. I call BS to this this definition of the welfare clause of the US Constitution.

      Schools and roads were private at the time of the founders and I am sure they wanted them to stay that way. Funny that you support the 10th plank of the communist manifesto (free schools) and use the Constitution to justify it.

  3. Bruce Gambill,

    You posted:

    “In the case of school funding, our legislature has clearly failed to meet our Constitution’s requirement for funding education. How exactly should we proceed?”


    First decertify the teachers union and ALL unions of governmental employees. End teacher strikes. End “comparable pay.” Reduce educational requirements for teachers to high school and a teaching certificate. Restrict the curricula.

    Then move to the Congressional DUTY to IMPEACH and CONVICT for “high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

    The PEOPLE are the SOVEREIGN. The SOVEREIGN must speak on this issue. Congress represents the SOVEREIGN, the PEOPLE. Congress cannot allow or perpetuate corruption and unconstitutional acts. Congress must impeach and convict in the absence of procedural corrective action.

    Ultimately, power rests with Congress, the SOVEREIGN, the PEOPLE.


    Article II, Section 4

    “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

    1. How can you have a Constitution’s requirement that violates peoples rights? One does not have a “right” to an education any more than one has a right to a home, a car, a wife, medical care, or food. One has a a right to ones own life and property and that is it and it is the exclusive job of a legitimate government to protect those rights.

      IF this is in the WA Constitution it is completely illegitimate, and null and void. It would be like a constitutional amendment that made it OK to own slaves again….

  4. Then that is a decision being made by the WA Legislature, Paul, which is what they have been elected and paid to do, despite a foul whistle being blown by their Supreme Court. If the citizens of the state disagree with that decision, it is up to them to convince their representatives to do differently or get different reps. The court is strictly playing grandstand politics by trying to impose a fine.

    Let’s see. We aren’t spending enough on education, so let’s take money out of our wallet and place it in our front pocket where it is easier to get to when we decide to pay for better education. That solves the problem, except there won’t be enough money in the wallet when we need to pay for other things.

    The people of Washington need to get rid of the idiots in their Supreme Court who think they can get away with such outright nonsense. The citizens end up paying for it, either way.

  5. What a bunch of horseshit. There’s nothing in the US constitution or the Washington State Constitution giving the Washington State Supreme Court the ability to fine the State to enforce their will. This reminds me of California where the California SC decided that a Calf Constitutional amendment was “Unconstitutional” !

    The state legislator should simply Zero out their salaries and double the member of the members of the Washington SC – and appoint those who actually agree with the separation of powers.

    1. rcocean – what Huey Long did was put their chambers in the public restroom.

  6. I read the ENTIRE article (these legislators are even more verbose than I am) and I have to say I agree with them. Fines have to be authorized by laws, and the legislators are the ones who make those laws. The judiciary can rule that a law does not conform to Constitutional requirements and is therefore not enforceable, but they cannot make up laws themselves which would allow them to issue such a fine.

    Perhaps the State of Washington is NOT spending enough on education according to what is required by their Constitution. The court CAN rule on that issue. But it is the responsibility of the Legislature to figure out how to come up with that money. Perhaps they will have to cut spending on something else, or maybe create a special fee or tax on people who own children, or hold a bake sale to fund it. They might have to be creative, like sell the school properties and lease them back from the new owners to raise the funding they need. Governments at all levels have tremendous real assets that are untapped and could be used instead of placing a greater financial burden on their citizens by raising taxes on everyone to pay for services that only a select group will use. But those decisions are not for the courts to make.

    If the Washington Legislature cannot seem to make these decisions, then it falls upon the citizens to recall or vote them out and get a group of representatives who can actually do the job. The Washington Supreme Court has no authority to fine their legislature to try to force them to spend money on anything. That’s strictly politics at its worst.

    1. Tyger Gilbert – what is being spent on the students is subjective. The legislature thinks they are spending enough and fulfilling the Constitution.

  7. Is this the real Washington state, or the one in Seinfeld’s “Bizarro world”? I’m not familiar with the Constitution of either one, but it would be odd if it provided for no remedy for the abuse of power by the judicial branch. Impeachment, say?

    On the other hand, why be so drastic? Who is going to collect that fine? Why would the governor do it if he was also a losing party in the suit? After all, he should be fined too, as the budget came from him as well as the legislature.

    But the letter seems correct about one thing: to use the fines as the source of revenue for the courts “corrected” budget is plain weird. Why would the citizens of any state allow that?

    The more this gambit is examined, the more it looks like all three branches of government are posturing. Their weapons seem outside of normal political activity, which rely on accepted truisms about the separation of powers, and the limits for each. Yes, this is truly law and politics in the “Bizarro world”.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  8. Is it not too much to ask that candidates for elected office take a standardized test on civics, legal principles and legislative processes before being allowed to run for office? We require tests of people to practice professions like medicine, law, engineering, etc., and trades such as hairdressing, plumbing, electrical, etc. and for the right to fly an airplane or drive a car, etc.

    1. Fogdog – there is nothing in any state constitution requiring a paper and pencil test to become an elected official.

  9. It’s bad enough when the court(s) decide something with which one is not in agreement. They should not be performing outside of their purview.

  10. Retired Professor, Competition is EXACTLY what our education system needs. So does our political system. The duopoly is non competitive and dysfunctional.

  11. The legislative branch is not only wrong, they are inept. They need to be removed from office. Parents of kids in schools need to get out the vote.
    The tripartite system of government was set up to put some control over the legislative branch. The governor has some levers and the Supreme Ct of the state is set up to determine law and duty. The legislature here shirks duty. Bitch all you want about the state supreme court here people. They are doing their duty.

  12. So all you “the Supreme Court is wrong” folks – what is the recourse for the morons that refuse to do their job and properly fund the schools system – the school system has been on a downward spiral for several years as pay and pensions are cut as well as school supplies and teacher are expected to take money out of their underpaid paychecks to buy their own supplies for their classroom –

    The legislature should have their pay cut like they have cut the pay of teachers and maybe put the legislature in jail until they come to their senses and do the job the state constitution mandates to be done and properly fund the school system

  13. When a state or nation’s constitution demands the impossible, chaos reigns.

    Of course all the good people of Washington wanted certain standards and the court ruled that that requirement demanded of the people of their government through their constitution had not been met.

    The legislature, too, must be aware of their shortcomings. The executive as well. Yet it is not being met. What now, indeed.

    If a legislature decided it was not in the education business and outsourced education to professional educators competing for students wouldn’t that be better? Funding education collectively and educating competitively.

  14. I am going with the legislature on this one. The Washington SC is out of line.

  15. This is the reply comment I left on Disqus on the 15th of Aug. regarding this subject. There is Ray Harper’s comment first, then mine as follows:

    Ray Harper • 15 days ago

    The point that seems to get lost, on here, and every other media piece about this, is that the court does not have the duty or authority to collect money, or fine a separate branch of government. Its in the state constitution. But, it seems like nobody is pointing that out. I know libs wont point it out, because their life mission is a bigger, more controlling government. But, even people on the right side of the isle, just accept that the court has the authority. The court has NO authority to fine state government. If they don’t pay, whats the court going to do? Arrest both houses? If the court pushes this, they are,(I hope)going learn a hard lesson on the Washington state constitution, and separation of powers.

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    Bruce Gambill > Ray Harper • 14 days ago

    What Constitution? What Separation of Powers? Our Governor is currently still an active member of the WSBA while at the same time listed as the Chief Executive of the Executive Branch. Just like the Governor before him.
    Having the Washington State Bar Association be created by the Supreme Court to be a leg of the Supreme Court . With the WSBA purpose and function being to license practicing attorneys, discipline practicing attorneys, complete with a Lawyers Fund for Client Protection.
    But if the Supreme Court represents the Judicial Branch, then any Association it creates to be a leg of the Supreme Court, must also be considered to be of the same heritage of its parent, being the Judicial Branch.
    Although according to the House of Rep’s Staff Attorney Mr. Loggerwell, he insisted to me that the WSBA was in fact really an Executive Branch Association. I myself am at a loss as to how this could be possible?
    If in fact by some twisted method that this has been some how managed, thusly placing Gov. Inslee in the clear, then what about all of the Judges who are also members of the WSBA?
    According to our Constitution, Governor Inslee has authority over every Judge working for the State of Washington. Authority to remove from Office if circumstances presented such.
    However if you call Governor Inslee’s Office and ask about this, they will be quick to tell that this is not true.
    Mention anything about having documented verifiable proof on record that the Judiciary and the WSBA are both Criminally Fraudulently Corrupt, involved with Criminal RICO Organized Crime, then all of a sudden the ol Separation of Powers becomes a major issue and unpassable road block for Governor Inslee.
    Would that have anything to do with Governor Inslee being more loyal and biased towards his long established to & active association with the Judicial Branch and the WSBA? Probably would not require a person to scratch bald spots into ones scalp trying to figure this one out.
    But if we appeal to corrupt Courts that make the term cronyism appear more than just simply inadequate to describe the real situation at hand, then what could be expected to accomplished with that appeal?
    The intentional theatrics of passing blame back and forth between parties to consume our thoughts with, has become so outdated. Especially when it comes down to confronting them with real situations that command by Law , Oath to Office and clearly Stated within our Constitution, require immediate Official “action” to be taken in the best interest of the people.
    Its as if they all accidently stepped into a small pool of super glue and just can’t move.
    I understand the purpose /intent of the Separation of Powers. But if it is refused to be adhered to, refused to be acted upon when it is refused to be adhered to, then what is the purpose or sense of having any of these Laws, Rules, etc. at all?
    Most certainly not just to provide a convenient excuse for our Representatives or one Branch or another to not really do anything at all.
    However, that is indeed the situation at hand. So, as long as the “mush minded ” public is entertained by the blame casting theatrics to consume our thoughts with, then mission accomplished. With each of our Representatives Office Staff, whether it be the Senate or Congress, both be quick to ask when contacted & confronted with real problems, “what is it that you would like us to do for you?”
    Practically like an identical recording, no matter what Office or agency you contact. If you confront the Legislative Branch with undeniable proof of severe corruption within the Judicial Branch, they will be quick to tell you that before they can voice their opinion about it, they must first consult with their on staff attorney. Their on staff attorney, also referred to as an Officer of the Court, mandated by Law to be a member of the WSBA and leg the Supreme Court/Judicial Branch.

    So at this juncture, just what purpose does the Separation of Powers provide? Other than a duck blind?
    Having our Law makers immediately tell you that they are not attorneys, therefore incapable of interpreting the Laws they help design, remodel, etc. Preventing them from providing you with an unbiased , non corrupt answer.
    Sorry for traveling so far off the beaten path here concerning funding education. Point being that it will continuously be the same problems without first straightening up the foundation everything rests upon. Like honoring our Constitution for starters. Purging from the ranks of our Government those of who that don’t. Regardless if they refuse to honor the Constitution for fear of retaliation, alienation from the rest.
    Unfortunately every honest attorney in the past that has attempted to blow the whistle on corruption, the WSBA has seen to it with a corrupt quickness, they are no longer licensed attorneys in the State of Washington.

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    Ray Harper > Bruce Gambill • 14 days ago

    Wow, too bad more like you dont have the ear of “our” government. Well said man.

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    Bruce Gambill > Ray Harper • 14 days ago

    Thanks Ray, it is unfortunate that the condition of our Government mandates that I have this ear for our hijacked Government.

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    tensor > Ray Harper • 14 days ago

    You raise an excellent question. When part of the government violates our state’s Constitution, how do we the people compel the government to obey our Constitution? Historically, we appeal to the courts. In the case of a blatantly unconstitutional law (e.g. any attempt, via Initiative, to impose a 2/3 requirement for raising taxes upon our legislature), our judiciary can simply invalidate the unconstitutional law. In the case of school funding, our legislature has clearly failed to meet our Constitution’s requirement for funding education. How exactly should we proceed?

  16. The end of “overreach.” The end of “legislation from the bench.” The end of judicial branch impunity.

    The singular American failure, since before Lincoln’s “Reign of Terror,” has been the judicial branch and it’s dereliction and negligence in reading the words of the Founders and providing the mandated constitutional “checks and balances.” We know what the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights say and we know who has corrupted, perverted and cavalierly commingled the definitions of those words rather than simply and dutifully assure that actions comport with law.

    The judicial branch has caused America to be lawless. Unimaginable. Unforgivable.

    Roll out the metaphorical “guillotines” of the French Revolution.

    Accelerate the process of constitutional corrective action.

    “Two trials in every garage” – Anonymous

    Let’s get this show on the road.

    Article II, Section 4

    “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

  17. “That’s right, the several senators seem to have missed a key portion of their junior-high education relating to which branch of government has the ultimate say in constitutional matters and perhaps the workings of our tripartite government.”
    What a garbage article, only someone brainwashed in a government “school” would believe such a thing…..the Constitution gives no such power to the court, and the court itself in 1804 Marbury v Madison admits that this so called power was a power grab with no basis in the Constitution.

    Here are some valid thoughts on this matter from the real experts:

    “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions (is) a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.” ~Thomas Jefferson

    “I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.” ~Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820. ME 15:278

    The Declaration declares you to be the true sovereign, not the men in black dresses……..

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